So I don’t typically let stress get to me, but this last week was proving the exception.

I had numerous projects at work that all seemed to be coming due at the end of last week or the beginning of this week, as well as multiples hearings hours away from my office. I was pretty sure that I would be working through the weekend, which would also be difficult as this was going to be our son’s first Easter.

On Thursday I finally get my work load to a point where I felt like I could just work Saturday and get everything done, leaving my Sunday free… That’s when I get a phone call from my mom, my uncle just passed away and the funeral is Saturday in Louisiana.  Once I somewhat get past the loss of my uncle who I was close with and begin making travel plans, I suddenly remember all the work that I was planning on getting done Saturday.

About this time I feel the stress getting to me. I am not even considering missing the funeral, but since it is over a five hour drive one way, that means I have to find time some other place to make sure I get all my work projects finished.  As the stress is creeping in, I utilize two principles from Dale Carnegie:

“Cooperate with the inevitable” and “count your blessings, not your troubles.”

All the stress was making me feel sorry for myself, but I really needed to be counting my blessings: I have a job, I have a family I love, and an uncle that I want to remember.  Once I started thinking this way, I was able to bring my mood up and move on to “cooperating with the inevitable.” There were multiple “inevitable” here:

  • I had a ton of work to do.
  • I will be driving to Louisiana and back all day Saturday.
  • I need to spend at least some of Easter with my family.

Once I accepted all these as inevitable, I started asking myself how to make them all work.  I was able to work late Thursday and Friday, that freed up Saturday, and finally after Easter with my family, I was able to finish up the last bit of work I needed done before Monday.  If I had not followed the Dale Carnegie principles,  I would have continued to stress out and not thought things through logically. I likely would not have been able to enjoy Easter but would probably have also failed to finish my work projects and been stressed at the funeral. But thanks to the Dale Carnegie principles, I was able to work everything out and lower my stress level.

Want to lower your stress? Download Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book for access to the entire list of Stress & Worry Principles!

Posted by Justin Rader

Graduated from Dale Carnegie in 2015. Vice President and Attorney for Pinnacle Bank

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